Local customs and events
Another unique event is the “Dancing Procession” which dates back in the middle ages. This takes place annually on Whitsun Tuesday. Thousand of pilgrims, holding each other by handkerchiefs, skip and spring to the rhythm of an ancient simple tune which is played by brass and violin bands, heading to the crypt of the Basilica where Echternach’s founder is buried.
Echternach is known for its international music festival during the months of May and June featuring many world famous musicians but young artists as well. Concerts are held in the Ronamesque Basilica and in the Peter and Paul Church.
The old church was restored in 1862 and consecrated in Sept., 1868. Another solemn translation of the relics took place on 4 June, 1906, from the Church of St. Peter to the new basilica. On this occasion occurred also the annual procession of the holy dancers (see ECHTERNACH, ABBEY OF. -- The Dancing Procession). Five bishops in full pontificals assisted; engaged in the dance were 2 Swiss guards, 16 standard-bearers, 3045 singers, 136 priests, 426 musicians, 15,085 dancers, and 2032 players (Studien u. Mittheilungen, 1906, 551).